Category Archives: lakes

Sleeping Bear – Doing the Dunes

The breeze  died down yesterday morning and we were left with sunshine and a slight wind so perfect day to explore Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park. We started at the Dune Climb – a wide wall of sand bordered by brush. At the top we kept climbing on narrow sandy trails until we got to a spot with a spectacular view of thepale turquise  waters of Little and Big Glen Lakes to the east and the dark navy blue waters of Lake Michigan to the west..

onto Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive (great name) just south – a seven-mile one way loop along the coast where we stopped for a picnic on Picnic Mountain and for another spectacular view – this time atop a high sand dune that dropped steeply into the lake. Lots of other tourists but not oppressive.

Thanks to my willingness to ask park rangers questions, we found a gorgeous beach that was somewhat hidden off a dirt road just south of the drive. North Bar Lake is more like a gentle little pond, separated from Lake Michigan by a tiny strip of sand. Perfect for families with little kids. My teens opted for the wild beach of lake Michigan where we body surfed in the big waves and hunted for petosky stones. no luck yet. water was remarkably warm – again.

Forgot to mention that we began the day at the Glen Arbor Farmers market which was small but good. Some good crafts too – made out of the raw materials of my youth. petosky stones and birch bark. Got good blueberries, tomatoes and corn.

we met my friend polly and her twins at Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire, which lived up to its name. Good burgers, fried smelt, sweet potato fries, oberon beer. like the town of Empire a lot. Then onto the Cherry Bowl, a drive in movie theater near the town of Honor. Chilly but lot of fun – real step back in time. kids were intrigued.


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Filed under lakes, michigan

and away we go…to northern michigan

With two hours to go before we roll out of town into the great unknown (not that great – just a cottage in northern Michigan that I choose from a vacation rental agency’s website)  my cell phone rings. I miss the call because I’m several rooms away but there’s a voicemail message. On comes the chipper voice of a woman who works at the vacation rental agency. She just wants to make sure we got this and that piece of information, to let us know the agency’s toll-free number, that they’re open seven days a week and we should call if we need anything.  I like that – and it’s good to hear as we start driving 11 hours to a cottage I don’t know much about other than a one-paragraph description and some photos on a website.  Hope it’s a good sign.

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Filed under lakes, lodging, michigan

Potato Lake, MN

So many lakes, so little time. We’ve partial to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, specifically Cayuga Lake in Ithaca – where we’ve vacationed every other year for um 14 or so years, sharing a cottage with old college friends and their kids. This summer we’re heading to Glen Lake in northern Michigan near Glen Arbor and will, of course, visit the big momma lake near by – Lake Michigan.

Friends here in Iowa are leaving soon for Potato Lake in Minnesota, just east of Fargo (North Dakota) and north of St. Cloud (Mn) – about a seven hour drive from Des Moines. Among its many pleasures in addition to good fishing, we’re told, is  Minnesota’s oldest state park, Itasca, home of the Mississippi headwaters, about a half hour drive north of Potato Lake. Good to know.


Filed under lakes, michigan, minnesota, new york state